Vancouver Sun _CN BC_ 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2017
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1CN BC: UBC Will Offer Fentanyl Antidote Training ProgramTue, 17 Oct 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/20/2017

Students to learn to detect overdoses and reverse them using naloxone kits

The University of B.C.'s Alma Mater Society is organizing mass training events to teach students to recognize and reverse drug overdoses amid a devastating provincial health emergency that shows no sign of slowing down.

Organizers say 120 students are registered for a two-hour training session Thursday in the student union building at UBC's Vancouver campus, where they'll learn the signs of an overdose, how to use a naloxone kit and the role stigma-free language plays in improving the lives of people who use drugs.

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2CN BC: Column: California Has Blazed Retail Pot Trail For B.C.Mon, 02 Oct 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:10/06/2017

B.C. should follow California's lead as it transitions to a legal cannabis environment and authorizes retail marijuana sales next July.

Both jurisdictions are pot-culture capitals and are dealing with too-tight deadlines and too many nuanced problems to properly meet expectations.

California state voters in 2016 endorsed Proposition 64, which approved legal cannabis with retail pot sales starting Jan. 1, 2018.

As of November, adults over 21 could possess (and give each other) up to 28 grams, as well as seven grams of hash, and they can grow up to six plants.

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3CN BC: B.C. Seeks Public Opinion On Upcoming Cannabis RegulationTue, 26 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Saltman, Jennifer Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/29/2017

The federal decision to legalize is going to have a significant impact on the country, provinces and local governments.

The provincial government has given itself just over five weeks to gather input from municipalities, the public and other stakeholders about non-medical cannabis regulation in B.C.

It's an ambitious deadline, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth conceded on Monday during the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) conference in Vancouver as he announced the province's plans for public consultations.

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4CN BC: Column: NDP Seem In No Hurry To Draft Provincial MarijuanaTue, 26 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/28/2017

The fledgling B.C. NDP government has decided how it will deal with the looming legalization of marijuana: continue talking it to death.

Dispensary owners, illegal producers, consumers, patients, parents - Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth explained Monday that everyone's opinion is being sought because "one size does not fit all" and "we need to get it right."

Until 4 p.m. on the Day of the Dead, Nov. 1, Farnworth says anyone can participate in a provincewide conversation on pot - the minimum age, personal possession limits, public consumption, drug-impaired driving, personal cultivation, distribution, retail models ... It's all on the table.

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5CN BC: B.C. Municipalities To Push For Greater Role On CannabisWed, 20 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/23/2017

B.C. municipalities intend to debate next week how to press the provincial government to include them in its plans for cannabis as federal legalization approaches.

The Union of B.C. Municipalities will vote on a special resolution at its annual convention next Wednesday.

The resolution, which addresses their role in a provincial cannabis framework ahead of federal legalization expected next July, was put forth by the union's executive.

It calls for "fulsome and meaningful" consultation with Victoria, adequate provincial funding to cover costs related to implementing its framework, a fair share of taxes for cities and respect for municipalities' "choice, jurisdiction and authority" with regards to land use, zoning and other city hall concerns.

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6CN BC: Column Dope Shops Are Going The Way Of The DodoFri, 15 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/19/2017

Cannabis dispensaries should be afraid, very afraid, about what is in store when the federal government legalizes cannabis for recreational use.

Justice ministers are meeting in Vancouver and the House of Commons health committee this week has been examining the legalization law - and the clock is ticking for those trying to cash in on the current chaos.

There are widespread concerns about everything from the massive impact of legal cannabis on impaired driving enforcement to the fallout of allowing anyone over 18 to grow up to four pot plants.

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7CN BC: Pot Regulation Picture Hazy For Time BeingSat, 16 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mulgrew, Ian Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/19/2017

Federal minister, provincial counterparts meet to establish common ground on issues

After two days of meetings in Vancouver, the nation's justice and public safety ministers were vague and hazy Friday about what the looming legalization of cannabis will actually look like.

The ministers said they had a "robust" discussion about the weed, but seemed to agree only that many challenges remained - not the least of which was meeting what was called an "ambitious" July 1 deadline for ending the near-century-old pot prohibition.

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8CN BC: B.C. Undecided On Rules For Legal MarijuanaFri, 15 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Shaw, Rob Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/19/2017

Provinces still looking for more direction from federal government

B.C.'s top cop says the province remains undecided on how it will tax, distribute and regulate the use of marijuana once the federal government legalizes it next summer.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth said he hopes to hear more ideas from his provincial and federal counterparts Friday as they continue a meeting in Vancouver. Ottawa intends to legalize pot within 10 months, forcing the provinces to develop their own rules.

"It's certainly a challenging deadline, not just for British Columbia but all provinces, and I think both ministers and premiers have been saying that to the federal government," Farnworth said Thursday. "We know it is a challenge in B.C., but one we're working toward."

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9CN BC: Mom And Pop Pot Shops On EdgeFri, 15 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/19/2017

Cannabis retailers waiting to learn fate

Like a vignette of small-town life, a laid-back shopkeeper sits at a yellow table beside the unlocked bicycle leaning against the storefront, smiles, puts down his coffee mug and greets a customer by name.

"Hey Fred, how ya doing?" Jeremy Jacob said to his visitor Thursday, welcoming his old friend into the shop.

Jacob and his wife Andrea Dobbs run a family business in Kitsilano, a bright, airy space where a loud waterfall rushes outside, dozens of cannabis products line the shelves inside, and a Pomeranian named Lego lounges on the ground.

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10CN BC: B.C. May Be Ready To Take Page Out Of Portuguese Drug PolicyFri, 08 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/12/2017

B.C.'s first minister of mental health and addictions says she will take an "all-ministry" approach to the overdose crisis, influenced in part by Portugal's renowned policy for druguse and addiction.

Minister Judy Darcy met with Dr. Joao Goulao, Portugal's national drug co-ordinator, at this week's Recovery Capital Conference of Canada in New Westminster.

In 1998, Goulao was part of a committee that developed policy to deal with a deadly drug crisis in his country, during which one per cent of the population was addicted.

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11CN BC: Gang Prevention Program Expands In Surrey SchoolsWed, 06 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/08/2017

The (earlier on) that they become attached to ... role models and mentors, the greater the resiliency.

As preteens march off to elementary schools in Surrey this week, a group of elder peers is making plans to steer them away from the deadly path to gang life.

Yo Bro | Yo Girl, a program for youth at risk, is expanding to protect children as young as 11 from entering a violent lifestyle that is claiming the lives of young men on Surrey's streets.

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12CN ON: Former Health Minister Heading East To Take Job With MarijuanaThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Fayerman, Pamela Area:Ontario Lines:Excerpt Added:09/01/2017

B.C.'s former health minister, Terry Lake, is moving to the Ottawa area this weekend to become a vice-president of a medical marijuana company that is poised for massive growth.

Hydropothecary Corp. is a Health Canada-authorized producer of medical marijuana with a 26-hectare facility in Gatineau, Que., that is about to get six times larger. The firm was co-founded in 2013 by a stalwart Liberal, Adam Miron, who also helped start the news website

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13CN BC: Nanaimo Mother Marks Her Son's Birthday In SorrowFri, 01 Sep 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Eagland, Nick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:09/01/2017

Cheryl Guardiero should have spent Thursday celebrating her son's 30th birthday. Instead, she attended an International Overdose Awareness Day vigil in Nanaimo, her boy now among the dead for whom they grieved.

Brett Colton Mercer was born in Nanaimo on Aug. 31, 1987, to loving parents who eventually had five children. He died Aug. 19, 2017 of an accidental drug overdose, alone in a motel room in Hope, where he had recently landed a job with an oil and gas firm.

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14CN BC: An 'Outside-The-Box' Solution To OverdosesTue, 29 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/31/2017

Chatter was spreading online and through the Downtown Eastside on Sunday and Monday, a rumour about cops busting an unlicensed pop-up cannabis dispensary.

The dispensary in question is different from the roughly 60 unlicensed pot shops running in Vancouver, many of which are slick commercial operations. The High Hopes Foundation, a small booth that opened this summer in the Downtown Eastside, is run by the people behind the Overdose Prevention Society and works toward the same goal of saving lives as an escalating overdose crisis rocks the city and province.

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15CN BC: OPED: Leadership On Drugs Desperately NeededMon, 14 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:McPhie, Michael Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

Action, not words, is what we need to fix problem writes Michael McPhie.

Like most of us in B.C. over the past few months my attention has been focused on the goings on in Victoria and, more recently, the significant effect from the wildfires.

I have to commend both the province and the federal government for their response to the wildfire situation. It has really been quite extraordinary and I'm sure has saved many homes and ultimately lives. It clearly demonstrates what is possible when focus and resources are provided in a timely manner.

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16CN BC: Another Dispensary Breach, And Still No Pot LawFri, 11 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Fumano, Dan Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

Sensitive patient data supplied to a Vancouver cannabis dispensary has been either mishandled or - according to the shop's owner - stolen, a situation that again highlights the confusion over the regulation of retail pot.

Most people in weed-friendly Vancouver, it seems, don't have a problem with dispensaries. A Nanos poll of Vancouverites last year found only 14 per cent supported banning medical dispensaries.

But the city's decision to take the lead in Canada by licensing a still-illegal industry has contributed to a regulatory haze where many in Vancouver - including cannabis users and non-consumers alike, and even those involved in the weed business - have expressed confusion about the state of affairs while Canadians await expected federal legislation to legalize nonmedicinal marijuana.

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17CN BC: Hippie Nemesis Snidanko, Feared In A60s, Dead At 79Thu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Mackie, John Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/15/2017

In the 1960s, the name Abe Snidanko sent chills up the spine of every hippie in Vancouver. Snidanko worked undercover with the RCMP drug squad and busted longhairs for pot and other drugs.

Snidanko's fame went international when former Vancouverite Tommy Chong used him as the inspiration for Sgt. Stadanko, the opening track on Cheech and Chong's 1973 comedy album Los Cochinos.

The fictional Sgt. Stadanko also appeared in the Cheech and Chong films Up in Smoke and Nice Dreams. But what the real Sgt. Snidanko thought about his fictional counterpart is unknown - he declined interviews.

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18CN BC: OPED: How To Stem Overdose CasesSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Tupper, Kenneth Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/14/2017

Quality checks of illicit drugs is one way, writes Kenneth Tupper.

In recent years across B.C., a public-health tragedy has resulted in thousands of preventable deaths from street drugs containing powerful opioids such as fentanyl or its analogs.

Toxicity from adulteration has occurred not just in the heroin supply, but also in stimulants, club drugs and counterfeit pills. Border agents and police have tried to reduce or disrupt the supply, but they have had little success in stemming the tide of illicit drug importation and consequent deaths.

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19CN BC: Gang Violence The Top Priority For Province's New SolicitorMon, 31 Jul 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Bolan, Kim Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/05/2017

B.C.'s new solicitor general wants to review the province's anti-gang programs to see if changes are needed to more effectively battle brazen gun violence.

Mike Farnworth, the NDP's longtime critic of the public safety portfolio, told Postmedia News the public is understandably concerned by the ongoing violence.

In recent weeks, there have been several shootings in Surrey, Abbotsford and Vancouver, as well as a killing in Chilliwack that police say was a targeted attack.

"It is a critical issue in the Lower Mainland and at the end of the day, it doesn't matter where you are - whether you are in Surrey or Vancouver or Pouce Coupe or Prince Rupert - you deserve to feel safe in your home," Farnworth said. "People deserve to be safe and feel safe in their communities."

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20CN BC: B.C. Overdose Deaths Soar 88% In First Six Months Of YearSat, 05 Aug 2017
Source:Vancouver Sun (CN BC) Author:Johnston, Patrick Area:British Columbia Lines:Excerpt Added:08/05/2017

Don't use alone, chief coroner urges, as 2017 death toll in opioid crisis hits 780

Fewer people died of drug overdoses in June than in earlier months of this year, but the death rate continues to be far higher than last year.

According to the B.C. Coroners Service, 780 deaths so far this year can be attributed to overdosing on illicit drugs.

That's up 88 per cent from the same period a year ago, when there were 414 deaths. In total, there were 978 overdoses deaths in B.C. last year.

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